~ QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ~

Here is where we answer your questions about your weight and reaching your weight goal. Our site provides general health information only and cannot give medical advice.
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 How can I ask mom for a scale?

=> I need advice. We don't have a scale in my house which makes it extremley difficult to know if i'm losing weight and then I get discouraged because i don't see visible results. How can i ask my mom for a scale? I don't want to tell her I'm losing weight because she won't approve. Please tell me how I should ask without menchining losing weight?

 Try sitting down with your mom and explaining to her that you want to be and maintain a healthy weight, and that having a scale will help you monitor your progress. You stated your mother would not approve of your losing weight, but you didn't say why. Your mother may not think you need to lose weight. It is important to speak to your doctor or nurse to find out what weight is healthy for you. Plus, you can use the weight calculator on our site. Or, if your mom happens to be overweight, she may be uncomfortable if you lose. You might ask your mom to lose weight along with you, like a weight loss buddy.

Other than using a scale, there are some additional ways to monitor your weight loss. Try using a tape measure to find out how many inches you are around your waist, legs, arms, etc. You will also notice your weight loss by the way your clothes fit... Are they getting any bigger?

REMEMBER: If you've been exercising and trying to lose weight, adding muscle may increase your scale weight, even though you’re ACTUALLY slimming down. Muscle weighs more than fat, because muscle is more dense than fat and it takes up less space. That's another reason why measuring your body in inches or centimeters is a great alternative way to judge your weight loss if you don't have a scale.


 Underlying Reasons For Being Overweight

=> I really want to lose weight, but I have several problems: first, almost everyone in my family is overweight/obese, so it's hereditary for me. Second, I don't like exercise! I love dancing, but I have no idea how to do that effectively. Also, I would love to go to the gym, but with the economy and stuff, we don't have much cash to spend. I'm also a busy person and my schedule is often packed with activities and practice and concerts. I have a problem and I don't know what to do! PLEASE HELP! Thank you....

 Before you can lose weight, you have to be motivated and ready. Write down the things you don't like about being overweight and then write down all the reasons you can think of for wanting to lose weight.

Being physically active every day does not take a lot of time and does not take any money. It does not have to be formal exercise; it can be any activity you enjoy doing. You can ride a bike, go for a brisk walk with a friend, taking the stairs instead of the elevator. You already mentioned you like to dance. As long as you are raising your heart rate and moving your body, you are being effective and you will burn calories. Remember, if you like doing the activity, you are more likely to do it on a regular basis.

Lucy has a great tip to help you realize you are not alone in this. Good luck!


 Am I Overweight?

=> I weigh 121 and 5"1foot and where I live everyone is like 100 or below. I feel fat when I am around them, am I considered fat? I also have a bit of a tummy but its not that bad but should I excersize? Do u think I'm going to be big when I'm older

=> I am 13 years old and i am 5 foot 1 and weigh 125 pounds. Is that overweight? Im pretty big and with large stomach. So can you tell me exactly how much weight i need to lose? Also, my younger sister is 2 foot 2 and 45 pounds. My older brother is 5 foot 7 and 153 pounds. How much weight do they need to lose?

=> i'm 12 years old 5'3 and 124 pounds .how can i lose weight?

 This is one of the most common questions asked by teens here.
First, you can use our weight calculator to determine if you are underweight, a healthy weight, overweight or obese.

The weight calculator on our website is designed for kids ages 2 through 20. Our weight calculator differs from weight calculators that your parents (or anyone over 20) would use because they have stopped growing! Thus the formula (mathematics) is different for determining healthy weight between kids and adults.

The weight calculator can provide a healthy weight range based on your age, gender, weight and height. Whether you consider your body type or frame - small, medium, or large - does not matter. This is because the healthy weight range is wide enough that it includes all these body types.

Once you have determined where you fall, you can visit our Healthy Weight School to learn more, especially the section on How Do I Lose Weight.

Regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle no matter what you weigh. See this tip from Lucy to learn more about how exercise is good for you!


 Teased About Being Overweight

=> im uncomfortable that people make fun of my weight please help

  You are not alone. This is a topic that gets brought up often by other kids too. Unfortunately, teasing is something many of us deal with when we are growing up and it makes us feel bad. We get teased for many different things, but someone who is overweight is often on the receiving end. While this feels very hurtful, try to remember that someone who makes fun of others actually has low self-esteem and is trying to make themselves feel better.
Their goal is to get a reaction from you. If they don't get that reaction the bullying will likely stop.

Lucy has a great tip to help you learn to deal with bullies. Make sure to practice your response to the bullies so you are ready when the time comes. You can do it!


 My Weight Interferes with My Social Life - Nothing Works

=> im 12 years old and i am very over weight! I feel very miserable with my friends and a few days ago my friends asked me to go to a pool partay with them and i told them i couldent go but the reason is that i am overweight and it is interfering with my social life. Please help me lose weight!

=> i feel fat i keep trying and trying but nothing works hopefully you can help me lose weight thank you

 Obesity in young people can lead to feelings of isolation and unhappiness. When someone gains excessive weight, this can lead to lower self esteem. These negative feelings increase the desire to seek comfort in food, which in turn leads to more depression as your weight increases.

Lets start with self-esteem. Keep in mind that your friends like you for who you are, not for what you look like. Keep a journal and write down all the things you can think of that you like about yourself and all the things other people like about you. Read this every single day and whenever you are feeling badly about yourself. It will take some time, but eventually you will feel better about yourself, and you will show yourself to others as a more confident person. Here is one of Lucy's tips about self esteem to help you get started.

Second, you need motivation in order to lose weight and keep it off. This is what keeps us going when we want to give up. In a new section of your journal, write down all the reasons you would like to lose weight and all the reasons why losing weight is hard. Write down everything you eat every day, and write down all the exercise you do in one day on another page.

As you progress, write down the things that you have accomplished. Things like “I lost one pound this week”, or “my clothes feel looser than before” are great MOTIVATORS to keep you going!

Finally, reward yourself each week or month after you have been working hard on your goals. But DO NOT reward yourself with food. Reward yourself with things like new clothes, earrings, a DVD, go to a movie with a friend.

The Healthy Weight School's Motivation March can help get you started.


 Weight Loss and Constipation

=> does losing weight sometimes cause constipation

  Constipation can be a result of any change in your diet and is often related to a loss of fluids, a lower food intake, or poor food choices. Usually, making a few changes to your diet can help you find relief.

There are some easy things you can do to prevent constipation while losing weight. Make sure you are eating fresh fruits, vegetables and grains to provide plenty of fiber. An extra benefit of these foods is that they are often lower in calories and are very filling. Replace snacks such as chips and other salty foods with seeds and nuts. You can still get the salty taste you crave without all the fat and calories. And as always, it is important to drink plenty of water.

Exercise is also important in improving bowel function. Try to increase your physical activity by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, taking a short walk when you are able throughout the day, park farther from the door at the mall or at school. These are little ways to sneak in extra body movements to help resolve your symptoms.


 Belly Fat

=> I'm a little overweight, but I have a big belly. Do you have any tips for getting rid of a big belly?

  If you have extra fat to lose, you may have already realized that spot reduction (concentrating on losing fat in one area) is not possible. But any exercise or weight loss should help your problem areas in proportion to other areas of fat. In addition, toning, or strengthening the muscles in a certain location can help give the body a better appearance if the fat layer is not too thick to hide your improvements.

Many people find that they can lose weight when they start walking or jogging regularly as long as they don’t increase the amount of food they eat. Most kids (and adults) tend to eat lots of foods that are high in fat, sugar, or salt. The key is moderation.

Are you ready to lose weight? Take a trip to our Healthy Weight School to learn how to break the habit of overeating.


 School Lunch - Keeping It Healthy

=> What can I do to make sure I don't ruin my diet at school. I don't always have time to pack a lunch , and my friends always have sweets. Help me please

 

Packing a school lunch is one of the best ways to help you reach your healthy eating goals. Your goal might be to choose something from each of these groups: proteins, grains, fruits and vegetables, and a high calcium food.

Shop with a parent or make a list ahead of time and pick creative choices from each of the above food groups to add interest to your lunch bag. Don't forget Fruit, a sweet alternative to high calorie desserts. Your friends will envy your creative choices like kiwi, Asian pears, or juicy fresh raspberries!
EXPERIMENT!

When there isn't time for packing a lunch, make wise choices at the school cafeteria and at the salad bar. Click on the "Food Bar" above to see how far Lucy would have to walk to work off her snack. (Drag the red arrow over a food.)

Armed with a little planning and knowing ahead of time what the better food choices are, you will be less tempted to pick high calorie foods. Remember, EATING HEALTHY CAN BE FUN!

Click on the pic at right for a video on other fun ideas on packing school lunches.


 Binge Eating and Alone - How to Stop Binging

=> I am an emotional eater. I am an only child and home schooled. I have no friends. I am a normal weight, but I have been gaining weight and I am on my way to being overweight. I am so sad and lonely, I binge when I am home alone. I want to fix my problem. How do I stop binge eating? Please help me I don't want to become fat.

 

GOOD NEWS! Binge Eating Can Be Treated! YOU CAN STOP BINGE EATING!

A binge is when a person eats a lot of food at one time. When the person binges, she or he usually feels out of control. They feel better for a while after eating, and then typically feel bad about themselves. They turn to food to feel better again, and the cycle repeats. Click here for a video about a girl who did this. Most people with binge eating disorder feel out of control with their eating and food habits.

Often times binge eating, is triggered by some emotion or stressful event or even by seeing food commercials on television. It can be helpful to learn to recognize what your triggers might be. Once you recognize your triggers, you can develop a plan ahead of time for what you can do instead of binge. For example, plan to do a distracting activity or call a friend for support.

Binging is treatable, and there are many resources available. Many health care professionals are specially trained to help those with binging problems.

You can also find other kids who care in the chatroom and you can get good ideas from other kids on the pre-teen and teen bulletin boards. Don't forget that every Wednesday "Lucy" is in the chat room to answer questions!

Don't feel alone, others are here to help support you!


 Why am I fat and my sister isn't?

=> My sister is skinny, I'm fat. How do that work?

 We are what we eat! No two people (even if we are sisters) eat exactly the same thing in the same amount every day. We don't do the exact same activities each day either.
That's why some of us will gain weight and some of us won't.

When we eat more than our body needs for fuel (to nourish our bodies), we gain weight. Check out what the body does with extra fuel and what you can do to avoid this. You might be eating for other reasons than eating to nourish your body. Examples might be because you are stressed, bored or eating for comfort.

When we eat to soothe a feeling, we are TEMPORARILY comforting our self, not fueling our body because it needs it. You might try practicing "mindful eating." Being mindful means thinking about the emotions you are feeling as you eat. Are you eating because you are hungry or because you are trying to feel better about something? Find out if you are eating because your are hungry or full.

Take a look at the action plan to help you to stop eating even when you are full. You can make the change to mindful eating too!

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